Monday, July 27, 2009

Where are you?

I haven't blogged for over a week. Hmm. Have I been really busy crafting fun little crafty things? No. Have I concocted the best dessert ever? No.

I have been playing Fable 2. (again)

I LOVE that game. LOVE it!

See you when I get bored of it. (again)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

i heart summer nights

and lazy sundays. I usually make dinner for the mister and me most nights of the week, but I don't usually get THIS fancy. Tonight we will dine on Grilled Pork Tenderloin, a fresh summer salad, Sweet Potato Biscuits with Honey Butter, and Chili Lime Corn on the Cobb. Followed with dessert (of course) Frozen Key Lime Pie. Thanks Food Network!

We (mostly me) cleaned the house today. And took a wonderful nap with the cow laying mostly on my head and noodle right next to Danny's feet. After I finish posting this, I am going to go work on some hairclips for my friends (special requests) and then we will eat (in the backyard if it's not too hot) and then we will watch lame tv until it's time for bed.

Ahh. I love lazy sundays.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

vanilla bean madness

I am so so tired. I got up at 8:30 this morning to finish baking the hundreds (yes, I said hundreds) of mini cupcakes for the fabulous Babinski's Pre Sidewak Sale Party. (it was from 6-9) I baked the vanilla bean cupcakes last night, and by the time I got up and looked at them, they had completely shed their wrappers. Odd?! Then I made chocolate cupcakes this morning. (Not pictured) So I had to go back to the store to get new wrappers for the vanilla ones, and by the time I got them to the party, they had done it again. I guess vanilla bean means "nudist" in cupcake. Mmmmm. They were delicious!

We had a freakin LINE of people at 5:45. It was like we were selling the Wii or something. And it got even crazier after we opened the doors. It was so packed, you could hardly even walk through the store!

Starbucks donated coffee, the gelato place next door donated various flavors of gelato, we had cookies and candy and juice, and OH!! the best part! Caramels. Real caramels. I LOVE caramels. Even more than fudge. If I could make caramels, I would make them daily. (I tried before. They were inedible and didn't look a thing like caramels.) They were from Avenue Sweets. (I put a few in my purse for later...shhhh)

If you are in the area this weekend, and need stuff for babies, stop on by. It's Sidewalk Sale. It's crazytown. We have some really great deals on some stuff, and we actually have good stuff left for the rest of the sale. Last year we sold out of the good stuff in the first few hours of the first day.

I am going to bed now. Need sleep to make it through tomorrow.....


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ginger dear, could you pass me a cookie?

My husband loves ginger cookies. So I made these for him last Friday. They are called the "Ultimate Ginger Cookie"

The recipe is on my recipe blog. What? Yeah, it's new. You should check it out! I will start posting the recipe for whatever I post on this blog- I want to be able to give out the recipes without taking up a bunch of room on this blog.

Danny had one just now, and then he brushed his teeth and is waiting for me to stop typing and come to bed.

See ya!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

this weekend I...

slept in
went shoe shopping with Danny
took a nap with the cow
did all my laundry (except for towels)so I did most of my laundry
had breakfast for dinner (french toast, bacon and grits)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

skeletons in my closet...BOO!

So the worst possible person to find me on FB found me today.

He is an ex that was very manipulative and talked me into buying a house for us to live in. Granted, it was one of those bad loans that crashed the market last year, (it was fraudulently funded) but he had the power to talk me into it. (I was weak enough to give him that power) Anyway, I bought a house that the appraiser had over appraised (He put it at 155, it was really only 90, and had completely illegal wiring so it wasn't even livable.) I was having a really bad winter, and so I had to quit my job, and like 2 months later this jackass says "See ya!"

I don't believe in god. Never really have. Faith really gets me. It fascinates me that there are people that have faith in something they can't see. That they base their entire lives around that faith. I have real respect for them, because their faith gives them strength, joy, and a set of principles in which they live their lives. I can't quite believe in it for myself, but I was raised LDS, so I know a thing or two about Mormonism. I have some great friends that are Mormon and I have always seen how it gives my parents strength. And so I believe them when they say that they are truly happy following God's plan.

After he left that night, I tried to kill myself. I swore that I would not be one of those pathetic people that failed. I found a website for people with terminal illnesses that wanted to end the pain. I just happened to have had a certain bottle of drugs that when mixed with enough alcohol would end my life in a matter of hours. (my doctor had prescribed them to me for my bad cramps, but they didn't work, so I still had most of the bottle left.) Just to be sure, I also put a bag over my head.

I woke up the next morning anyway.

I went into rehab, and I was there for a week or so before they stopped giving me my anxiety meds. One evening, as the pill lady came around and I noticed that that green pill was missing, I threw a fit. I started to panic. I demanded that pill. They ignored me. I stomped around. I called my family, begging them to bring me my meds that I NEEDED. They hung up on me or just didn't answer. I stomped around some more. Nobody paid any attention to me. I laid in my hospital bed and cried and felt sorry for myself. "This isn't fair!" "I have a REAL medical condition!" and so on. Pretty soon, I had no tears left. I started to calm down. Then I asked myself a question that had been in the back of my mind ever since that fateful night, but I was too busy acting like a brat to let it surface.

"Why am I still here?"

Wait a minute! I had a foolproof plan! I should be dead, not lying here in misery! What the hell? Then I had the biggest shock of my life run through me. (I had completed step one at that point in my recovery, which is: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.) But I was having trouble with the second and third steps. (2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. And 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.) God? I didn't believe in God. I was a little bit scared now, realizing that obviously a power greater than myself had kept me alive, despite my very best efforts. Then I did what my counselor had been telling me to do from day one. I got out of bed, and I got on my knees. And I prayed for the first time since I was a child, (when I would pray for things like a new box of crayons.) The fact that I was alive, and that there was no other way that I was alive other than something had stopped me, I then had the proof I needed to believe in something bigger than myself. Not God, but I call it that because I have no other name to call it.

"Okay, you got me. I give up. I'll do whatever it takes."

I had officially started my recovery. I learned a lot in rehab. I learned that I can only be happy if I make myself happy. It's MY responsibility, nobody Else's. That was the key for me. That and the fact that all the terrible and hurtful things that had been happening to me over that past 8 years were my fault. I was not some poor, pathetic person that kept having bad things done TO her, I was a selfish person that put myself in hurtful relationships, and blamed everyone around me for my misery. Andrew did quite a number on me, and so some of it was his fault, but he was more like the magnifying glass on my alcoholism than the cause. My counsellor Wendy asked me one day, "How long do you want to be miserable for? Because you are only miserable for as long as you let yourself be. YOU have the power to make yourself happy."

4 years, 3 months, and 12 days later, I sit here in my quiet house, where I live with my amazing husband, and I can't be thankful enough for my second chance.

And I can't be more horrified that he found me. That is the only reason I NEVER wanted to join FB. He sent me a message saying he was "truly sorry" and that he has "dreams about me" and he hopes that I am happy. I felt violated. I wanted to delete my profile and change my locks and slip away into the night with Danny and the cats, so that he could never find me again. And then I thought about it. I never got closure with him. He simply walked away, and I had to clean up both of our messes. I have not had a chance to "recover" completely from our breakup.

So I sent him a message. Straight from my scorned and broken heart. I was mean, very mean. But I was honest. And the truth hurts, when you're a bastard. I figure that if he seriously is apologizing to me, he should really know what happened. He will never know what I went through, living minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.

Yes, I was on that road anyway. I do take responsibility for my part in my own undoing. But you know when you get screwed over, and being blatantly honest to the person that wronged you most always make you feel better, and makes it easier to let go and move on? It was over 4 years ago. I have been carrying this around for far too long. And he opened the damn door. Right?

I owed it to myself and to my husband to take the chance to let this go. I think I may have to cry for a few hours to finally purge myself of this burden, but I think it won't be a burden anymore once I am done. Thinking of all of this again just hurts, but I also have to look at where I am today. Am I at a bar right now with some scumbag? No. I have a husband that loves me. Loves ALL of me. Even these parts that hurt so much right now.

I love SO much that I have no secrets with him. I really wanted to leave a few things out when I told him about my sordid past, on our 4th or 5th date. But as I talked, he just listened. And when I was done, and I was sure he would kick me to the curb, (and I wouldn't of blamed him) I asked "So, um, do you totally hate me now?" And he said "Of course not! Jessica, you aren't that person anymore." He hardly knew me, yet he saw in me what I had been trying so hard to do- change my behavior. Until that moment, I hadn't fully believed that I had done it. I tried really hard, and wanted it so badly, but self doubt is a bitch. Danny truly is a miracle in my life. I am so blessed to have him.

So now you know way too much about me. Sorry if I freaked any of you out.

All there is left to do now is "Let go, and let God."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

cleanliness is next to godliness...but maybe not in my case.

I cleaned my house today. Yes, on my day off. Why? Because all I did on Sunday (my usual cleaning day) was update the "look" of this damn blog. I didn't realize when I signed up for this thing that it would take so much time! Anyway, I decided to take some photos of my clean house, and share them with you. (We are currentlly renting, but I actually kinda like how our landladies painted the place. Someday when we have a house of our own, I will go crazy decorating it to perfection. Or at least I will hire someone to do it for me.)

First off, my living/family/tv room. This chair belongs to the cats.

(this shot is to the left of the last photo) I love our couch from Ikea. (I just don't love sitting on it for more than half an hour.) Danny loves sitting on it though. He can sit on it comfortably for HOURS.

(this is what you see when you are sitting on the couch) I don't love the fireplace, but I love my photographs beautifully framed on the mantle. I took them on our trip to Maui in 2007. And they are all the proof I have that I ever was a professional picture framer. (ha! you thought I was going to say professional photographer! jk I am not that proud of myself.)

And here is our bedroom. Well, bed anyway. Our room is TINY, and our queen sized bed fits perfectly in the middle of the bedroom with a little room on either side for us to climb in. (More like climb down, it's a very short bed.)

We got the lamp for our wedding, it's perfect for reading in bed. The quilt at the bottom is one my mom made for us. It was our Wedding Colors quilt. (brown & blue) She made us 3 for our wedding. Well, not exactly. There was the picnic quilt, that I made years ago and she just put a back on and finished it. And there was the actual Wedding quilt, which we made together. I should take a photo of that one, It's amazing. There is a whole other post for that though. I'll do that one another day.

(I couldn't get a good shot of how cool the bed is, even when I mashed myself in the closet trying to get a better shot. Oh well.)

Here is my sewing area! (Danny's desk was a mess, and I am not allowed to organize his stuff, so I just took photos of my desk.)

And here is part of my fabric and other assorted sewing collection. Pretty organized, for me. Inside the bins are messy, but at least the mess(es) are contained in the bins, not on the floor. It's also quite easier to find stuff this way.

I didn't include the kitchen (where all the magic happens) today because I have 2 kitchen table and chair sets in there right now. One is the vintage one that I might sell. I just have to fix the broken leg. It's from the 60's. It's pink Formica, with 4 pink vinyl chairs (sigh) I LOVE it. But I really don't think Danny will ever REALLY let me use it as a kitchen table. But maybe someday. (hope so) If not, I think I can get a good chunk of money out of it.
So I will feature the kitchen later on.

Monday, July 6, 2009

light my fire, light my fire, ohohoh (only my mom will get that one)

Ask anybody. I hate the 4th of July. Always have. Every year, I REFUSE to go and see the fireworks. Why, you ask? (keep reading, I have a movie-of-the-week revelation at the end)

Fighting hordes of sweaty, ornery people of all ages to get a crappy snow cone and wait for dark only to be wowed (not) by loud pops and exploding colors? Not my thing. (notice how negative I am?)

It all begins with my memories of childhood 4th of July excursions. Being wound up all day long to "enjoy" the festivities and staying up past my bedtime made me and my siblings grouchy and spiteful. Driving in the car forever just to be late, and have to park on the side of the road, only to get out of the car and stand in the dirt and not see the fireworks in the sky due to the fact that we were still too far away from them (from being late) and being a child I was short and everyone else who parked on the side of the road and got out of their cars to see them were all taller than me, therefore blocking my view. Thankfully, I have a very tall father. But we only got minutes on his shoulders to sneak a peak, there were 3 of us, and we had to take turns.

(it sounds like I am blaming my parents for being late and missing the show, I am not, let me clarify)

It's ALWAYS so ridiculously crowded on the 4th. The only people with good "seats" were the crazy ass people that got there at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, just so they would have the best view. Sitting in the middle of nowhere, for hours, waiting for dark (and a million other people). And then it's over, and everyone is suddenly speed racer, hell bent on being THE FIRST ONE OUT. My parents did the best they could, with me, my brother and our handicapped sister. 3 kids, heat, and late nights? Not fun. And being late was most likely our (the kids) fault. I am grateful they were not the crazy asses that wanted us to have the best seats.

When we got older, and Loo-loo was harder to keep happy during long (30 min) car rides, we adopted the tradition of climbing on the roof to watch them. They were so far away, so they looked small, but still way better than the above experiences. And as I became a teenager, of course all the cigarette smoking losers I hung around with insisted in going to Sugarhouse Park. Ugh. SO many years of bad memories. Maybe if I even LIKED fireworks in the first place it would have been tolerable. But it pretty much just sucked.

And then my adult years. Suddenly, disliking the 4th is un-american. NOT donning the old red white and blue and singing the national anthem whist craning your neck to the sky and getting dripped on by some fat guy's melting snow cone is a crime. (I exaggerate about the singing and the clothing, but not about the smelly fat guy) I am not PURPOSEFULLY being un-patriotic. (I promise. My husband is a Veteran of our wonderful country.) I just don't like crowds and people and body odor and waiting for cars to move. Or fireworks.

This is my theory:

I got bored of fireworks as a happy-go-lucky kid. And they have not changed since. I have said this over and again, but if my toothbrush has advanced since then, why haven't fireworks? They get LONGER, but not BETTER. Therefore, they are not worth my time.

But as I was sitting in my house blogging that night, and I started to hear the booms get louder and closer together, I grabbed my husbands hand and said "Let's watch the finale from the driveway." I also grabbed my camera, because for the first time, I was willing to experiment with photographing them. (since switching to digital; no wasted film, instant gratification) But no tripod, sorry about the somewhat blurry photo.

I was taking to my friend about her weekend today, and she shares my distaste for the holiday. (not nearly as negatively, actually, not negatively at all) but this year she said that it was quite enjoyable. Why, I asked. Her and her husband took their 17 month old daughter to a small parade, and their child was in heaven. Entertained by every single minute. And then the family got in an afternoon nap, followed by a mellow dinner and of course, fireworks. All in all, she was impressed that she enjoyed a holiday that she previously didn't.

And so a light went on for me. I won't enjoy this holiday until I have little ones that will be dazzled with candy thrown by strangers, snow cones, cotton candy, the smell of excitement (not BO) in the air, with it all ending with the simple and traditional display of -fireworks.

(sorry to my friend if I got any of the details of her story wrong.)Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 4, 2009

unicorn wishes

We had a bbq for Mal's Birthday/4th of July. Her birthday was on the 2nd, but since everyone worked late that day, we decided to get together today.

This is the FIRST 4th of July ever (that I remember) that was not blasting hot. So after dinner we all went outside to swing on the rusted swing set.

Mal got a new camera from my parents- so ALL of us were taking pictures of each other! Even Loo-loo, see her pink fisher price camera in the photo? I love it!

The unicorn theme was hilarious. Loo-loo was disappointed that Mal wouldn't let us break open the unicorn pinata. But we had plenty of cupcakes to satisfy our family of sweet-tooths!

And the unicorn figurine that I got for her came with a stand and 4 different, equally cheesy backgrounds. Mal was such a tomboy when she was little, that we never had any girly themed parties for her. Well, I guess late is better than never!Posted by Picasa

tahitian dreams

(quite) A few years ago, my parents went to Tahiti. (lucky!) My mom brought me back a bottle of vanilla. I really didn't think much of it, and when I ran out of the vanilla I had in the cupboard, I busted out the fancy one. I had just made chocolate chip cookies, but they were THE best chocolate chip cookies I had ever made! It was such a small bottle, so I only used it for very special occasions. Soon enough, it ran out, and I had to go back to the boring vanilla. Over the years, I would tell everyone I knew about the mystical tahitian vanilla that I once baked with. I would say things like "You know, if I still had that delicious vanilla, that cake/cookie/cheesecake you are eating would taste so much better". I googled, and googled. I could not find a replacement anywhere!

For my 28th birthday, Danny had taken his dad and his sisters to Sur La Table to pick out my birthday gifts. I can't remember all the wonderful things they picked out, except for the HUGE 8oz bottle of Tahitian Vanilla! I think I even shrieked when I opened up the box. (It was the Nielsen-Massy brand. You have probably seen their Madagascar Vanilla in the grocery store. It looks like this. I had tried it before, but wasn't impressed. That was the first time I had seen a Tahitian version.) 6 months later, the bottle was empty. (sigh) And yes, I really do bake that much!

After I had used the whole bottle, Danny and I were at his Dad's for some celebration, and his dad and I were chatting. He apologized for only getting me a bottle of vanilla for my birthday. "Are you kidding me?!" I said, "I LOVED that gift! I have already used the whole thing!" Funny, some girls love Juicy purses. I love large bottles of expensive vanilla.

So, every time I am at gateway or even downtown, I go to Sur La Table to see if they have any Tahitian Vanilla. They NEVER do. I had put in multiple call when in's, and nothing. SO frustrating! They were even out online!

For my 29th (gulp) birthday, my mom gave me a bottle of Madagascar/Tahitian Vanilla Blend. She found it at TJ Maxx. I't by Sonoma Syrup Co. I was very excited, but a little letdown that it was not PURE Tahitian. (snob!) That is, until I opened it up, and smelled it. Ooooh. SO wonderful! It was MUCH better than the previous bottle! It was so close to the original, I couldn't believe my luck!

And now, it's all gone. I used the last of it for Mal's Vanilla Bean Cupcakes that I am making for her birthday celebration later on today. So, whilst they are baking, I googled the Sonoma Syrup Co. I found an online retailer and I ordered another bottle or 2. (jumping up and down) And, the bottle only cost $14.50. WOW! The one from Sur La Table was $40! And the cheaper one is SOOOOOO much better!

My faith has been partially restored in baking since the Plane Cake Massacre of June 2009. Still, I am off layer cakes for awhile. Cupcakes, cookies, and cheesecakes only.

You should try it. It's dreamy. Go here to order online.